In our latest Collection of Hand & Cloth, we took you into the home of Nate Chung, co-owner and beverage director for the highly acclaimed restaurant Mott St., famed for its euro-asian food and top-notch burger (rated one of Chicago's best!!).
Much like the food you get to experience at Mott St., Nate's home is a unique compilation of art and modern furniture and an invitation to see objects and space in a new way. The end result: a space that is incredibly refreshing and new, yet still feels homey. Nate's home is a feast for the eyes. It challenges us to elevate our own spaces beyond functional and to create something personal, inspiring and artful.
That being said, we couldn't help but be curious about the curator of this space and to ask him a few questions of our own:
H&C: What does the word "home" signify to you? What makes you feel at home?
N: As an introvert home is a very vital part of my soul. While it is a place to rest my head, it is also a space to be meditative. Good music, soft surfaces, and floors to sprawl on are the essentials that draw me to the center. Home is a place where I can put aside all my masks and let my being just be.
H&C: How would you describe your style?
N: Eclectic? There are a few things going on...and I'm simply trying to listen to the space, respond to it, and perhaps arrange a home that is generously welcoming. Some parts of my home celebrate the history of the building (it was either/both a calculator button fabricator or a swiss underwear warehouse!) by celebrating the materiality of the brick or by paying homage to industry through repurposing functional objects (ex: the giant industrial fan light, the pommel horse serving as a bench). A second motivation in my design choices revolves around my love for contemporary art. High ceilings, blank walls, and open spaces serve as fodder for aesthetic interrogation. They become a backdrop for my nascent collection of paintings, prints, sculptures, and textiles. My style is informed by ample comfort as manifested by deep velvet sofas, oversized chairs, an abundance of pillows, and high-thread-count sheets. Lastly I aspire that the aesthetic of my home be one that invites guests to feel like they could always put their feet up. Perhaps one might attain this only if they themselves are comfortable in their own space: Rather than ask what my guests need/want, I should offer that which makes me come alive (My goodness...are we talking about style here?). So, then, the stylistic elements that make me come alive are living with my cat, the ceaseless color tension between the pink brick and the honey-yellow floors...all tied together with black/grey furniture and the green of the plants.
H&C: What piece of furniture is your favorite and why?
N: My custom-made ten-seater dining table is my joy. It was the first big investment I made after moving in and it felt like such an adult rite of passage. The oval shape references a round table, where each has the same vantage point and is symbolically equal with others, but its elongation adds a sense of elegance and presence. One might announce a gripping point to the whole or have a heart to heart on the narrower edges. The versatility is amusing.
H&C: What's the story behind the pommel horse in your bedroom?
N: I was looking for an ottoman for my bedroom / living room, I and came across the pommel horse. It appeared that this object might function as a bench for my bedroom. That's pretty much it. And yes I did take gymnastics years ago.
H&C: What does your living space say about who you are?
N: My read of my space in what is says about who I am is that I am not yet settled and hopefully will never be. I'm constantly re-arranging the furniture, re-positioning my plants, moving around the art, etc. I'm searching to find the perfect composition, color combination, or function...given my resources and limitations. While I'm content with how things currently are, I can't help but wonder at possibilities and enjoy discovering the new from what's already present.